Thursday, February 13, 2014

Georgia in Gilbert: Our Visit to the Temple Open House

Last Friday I went to the Gilbert temple open house with my friend, Georgia, and my two kiddos. What is a temple open house? And who is my friend, Georgia? I'm so glad you asked! Now I'll tell you. :)

Before an LDS temple is dedicated or blessed, the public is allowed to go inside and see the rooms and learn more about what goes on inside. After it is dedicated, only members of the church who live by the tenants of the faith are allowed inside. It is a great opportunity for everyone to learn more about a place very sacred to members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (In fact, if you live near Gilbert, you still have two days to see it while it is still open to the public! I recommend you check it out!)This blog post has a nice little news report that was done specifically about the Gilbert temple. If you want to learn more about why Mormons build temples in general, this is a great little video on the topic.

Anywho, back to Georgia!

Georgia teaches the story time at the local library I've been bringing my kids to for the last year. She is a competitive Roller Derby gal, plays bass in a local orchestra, took German in high school, bakes awesome scratch pies, and is a vegetarian feminist with a strong moral compass. While she doesn't have kids of her own yet, she is great with them. My kids really like her.  I really enjoy our friendship, too. We always have more to talk about than we have time to discuss, so the long drive up to Gilbert made for a great day, filled with interesting conversation.

I joked with Georgia that she was getting the VIP Mormon treatment with PB&J's on homemade whole wheat bread I packed for us all for lunch. That wheat came straight from my food storage from the cannery, people! ;)

So, like I said the whole day was great - minus the whole part about me wishing I had a leash for Lincoln who was out-of-control and over-tired because he didn't nap on the drive and we arrived at the temple when he normally has down time each day. You laugh and smile so you don't cry, ya know?

Lincoln loves "Miss Georgia."

I had hoped for it to be a more peaceful learning experience for my kids - about what a temple is and why they are special to us as members of the church - especially why they are important to our family. Unfortunately my energy was much more focused on making sure Lincoln didn't jump into the font or climb on the altars. I hope that we have a chance to go to a temple open house again in another couple years when my kidlets are a little older. If nothing else, they can see these pictures and know I tried!

The Gilbert Arizona Temple - the open house before the dedication. A long line of curious visitors, waiting to go inside.

 Me, exhausted, trying to get my children to pose with me for a happy family photo in front of the temple.
Posing near the fountain at the end of the tour.
My kids are done! But, look at the gorgeous stained glass! The theme for this temple was the Agave plant. The continual flow of the leaves symbolizes the eternal nature of the family. There's something ironic about me trying to pose with my flailing wild child and frowning baby next to this serene building.
Me and Georgia, posing for a quick selfie before we make our way back to Tucson.
Even with the trouble of caring for my crazy, cranky little sweeties, I still had a really nice day sharing my beliefs with Georgia, and learning more about how she views life, too. Her perspective on the temple? She thought it looked like a nice hotel. I liked that and hadn't thought about it that way before. As God's house, it makes sense that it feels like a hotel - a nice place to come visit Him and to get away from the cares of the daily grind. (Especially after it is dedicated, and you go without your littlest loved ones.) ;)

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